Every once in a while, something will come along that shakes up the industry. A revolutionary new product, a demographic starting a movement, or record company growth leading to superior recruiting tactics. This is the story of Vemma and how the rise and fall of the YPR changed the industry forever.
For starters, yes Vemma is still around. The company was founded in 2004 and introduced Verve a few years later which eventually kicked off the Young People Revolution. This movement focused on changing the mindset of the college demographic which transformed the industry into a new way of thinking. A company that could become a successful brand by focusing their efforts on college students was unheard of.
Its old news now that Vemma went through a big-time lawsuit back in 2015 and eventually settled with the FTC. They were peaking before that seeing all-time highs in revenue and distributors. Unfortunately, the lawsuit forced the shutdown of all Vemma operations before reopening in 2016. So, let’s take a look at how they lost 95% of all business.
I joined Vemma back in 2012, and yes, I saw a lot of things that would blow your mind. Unlike many others joining the company, this wasn’t my first go around with the industry, but it was a completely different experience. It was fun and actually cool to be a part of the movement.
We got in early, saw a lot of success, and within 2 years it seemed like it was on every college campus. However, it got to a point where I could tell the scale was tipping the other way. Things were growing so fast I would hear recruiting stories that sounded like fraternity hazing parties. It was almost like you had to be ‘in’ or you would get outcast.
Vemma had a great product, an energy drink that sparked the interest of young people. We were passionate about changing lives and honestly building that team was one of the most rewarding feelings. We tried to influence others to do things the right way, but some things were just out of our control.
It wasn’t the compensation plan or the structure of how Vemma distributors built their teams that brought them down. The correct recruiting method got skewed by massive growth. Kind of like whispering a rumor, eventually it got so far off track it was out of hand.
The young demographic is heavily influenced by peer pressure. That’s what all this boiled down to. The verve parties were the spot to be on college campuses but you weren’t leaving until you bought a builder pack. Popularity made kids rich.